Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Marvel Actors React To Stan Lee's Death

Stan Lee did a great deal in his 95 years of life. With his comic book artist and writer pals Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko at his side, Lee co-founded Marvel Comics in 1961, rebranding the entity formerly known as Atlas Comics and, at its inception in 1939, as Timely Publications. He combined his creative talents with those of Kirby, Ditko, and his brother and fellow comics writer Larry Lieber to usher into existence numerous superheroes including Ant-Man, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Daredevil, the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, and the X-Men. Lee also spearheaded a brand-new way to create superheroes, their environments, and the situations in which they find themselves stuck, which ultimately led to a shift in the status quo when it came to writing comics and made waves with the Comics Code Authority. 

Lee eventually became the editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics, the chairman of Marvel Entertainment, and a cameo actor more than a dozen times in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and across other films featuring Marvel characters. A 1994 inductee into the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame and a 1995 conscript into the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame, Lee's contributions revolutionized the comics industry. Following his passing on Nov. 12, 2018, Marvel actors took to social media to honor Lee's legacy and thank him for all that he did in his decades-long career. 

Chris Evans highlights Lee's everlasting impact

Upon hearing the news of Stan Lee's death, actor Chris Evans, better known as Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, firmly stated that "there will never be another Stan Lee." In an emotional post shared to his Twitter page, Evans remembered Lee's impact on the world — one that will last for years to come. "For decades he provided both young and old with adventure, escape, comfort, confidence, inspiration, strength, friendship and joy," wrote Evans. "He exuded love and kindness and will leave an indelible mark on so, so, so many lives. Excelsior!!"

Karl Urban honors Lee with a sweet snap

Marvel Cinematic Universe star Karl Urban, who gave an unforgettable performance as Asgardian executioner Skurge in Taika Waititi's Thor: Ragnarok, took to Instagram to honor Stan Lee's memory. The New Zealand-born actor shared a photo with Lee in the middle of a bustling crowd of Marvel fans, with Urban caught mid-excitement-yell and Lee captured celebrating the moment with his fist in the air. "Legend. Godspeed Stan I feel blessed to have Known you. You made this place better and brought joy to everyone you met . Rest In Peace," Urban wrote in the caption, adding a red heart emoji and ending the sentiment with a heartfelt "xo."

Tom Holland says he's 'indebted' to Lee

Tom Holland has only formally been a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe since 2017, when he made his franchise debut as Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Homecoming – but even with his somewhat limited exposure to the Marvel world (at least compared to fellow actors Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, and the three Chrises), Holland knows firsthand that he wouldn't have a place in the film series at all if it weren't for Stan Lee, who co-created the Brooklyn-based web-slinger with Steve Ditko in the early 1960s. 

Holland honored Lee's legacy in a heartwarming post on Instagram, thanking him for touching the lives of countless people and stating that he owes a great deal to Lee. The young actor shared a photo of the two sitting on a couch smiling widely at one another during what looks to be a press event for Spider-Man: Homecoming. "How many millions of us are indebted to this guy, none more so than me. The father of Marvel has made so many people so incredibly happy. What a life and what a thing to have achieved. Rest in peace Stan."

Robert Downey Jr. pays his respects

Robert Downey Jr. is yet another actor who would never have stepped into a superhero suit if Stan Lee didn't bring into existence the vigilante in question. The Iron Man actor is fully aware of that fact, and expressed in an Instagram post just how grateful he is to Lee for partnering with Larry Lieber, Don Heck, and Jack Kirby back in the 1960s and creating the genius-billionaire playboy-philanthropist Tony Stark.

"I owe it all to you,,, Rest In Peace Stan," Downey Jr. wrote in the caption of a photo of himself and Lee standing next to each other on the set of a Marvel movie. The actor added the hashtags "#MCU," "#Excelsior," "#legend," "#rip," "#stanlee," and "#TeamStar."

Chris Hemsworth shares an un-Thor-gettable photo of Lee

Chris Hemsworth has been through a lot during his tenure as the Asgardian God of Thunder Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Hemsworth's character lost his trusty hammer Mjölnir when his evil sister Hela (Cate Blanchett) destroyed it with a clench of her mighty fist, his eye when fighting Hela later on, his flowing golden locks when the slightly psychotic Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) ordered them to be lopped off ahead of Thor's big fight with the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), and his brother when Thanos (Josh Brolin) choked him to death in Avengers: Infinity War. But Hemsworth has loved every second of it, and couldn't be more thankful to Stan Lee — who cameoed in Thor: Ragnarok as the guy who gives Thor his new hairdo — for creating all the thrilling adventures he's gotten to go on in the MCU and for writing the stories so many fans have fallen in love with.

In the wake of Lee's passing, Hemsworth took to Instagram to share a photo of Lee wearing Thor's helmet and holding Mjölnir. In the caption, he wrote, "RIP my friend. Thank you for the incredible adventures your stories took all of us on. My love and support goes out to all your friends and family #stanlee #legend."

Mark Ruffalo is honored to have known Lee

Mark Ruffalo, the actor who has portrayed renowned scientist Bruce Banner and his temperamental green-skinned alter ego the Hulk since 2012's The Avengers, shared a tribute to Stan Lee that will leave all who read it teary-eyed. Calling the comic book legend, who created the Hulk with Jack Kirby in 1962, "Uncle Stan," Ruffalo described how honored he is to have known Lee and thanked him for the positive impact he had on the world.

"Sad, sad day. Rest In Power Uncle Stan. You have made the world a better place through the power of modern mythology and your love of this messy business of being human... you let us be extra human... superhuman even," said Ruffalo. "I am deeply honored to have been a small part in the Stan Lee constellation."

Sebastian Stan thanks the legendary Lee

Though Stan Lee didn't help bring to life the complex superhero Sebastian Stan has played across the Captain America and Avengers film series and in Black Panther, the Bucky Barnes star grew close to him while the comic book icon was alive. Stan, who outdid himself when he appeared as Bucky's brainwashed counterpart the Winter Soldier in the 2014 Captain America sequel, uploaded to his Instagram account a picture of himself sitting next to Lee. The duo are all smiles in the snap, which Stan captioned, "Thank you great legend. You will be missed. I wouldn't be here without you."

Winston Duke recalls the many lessons Lee taught

If there were more than 24 hours in a day, we just might have enough time to list everything Stan Lee has done for comic books and superheroes, the fans who love them, and the filmmakers who translate them to the big screen. Alas, we can't bend the hours to our whims, so we must use the time we have to the best of our ability to honor Lee's accomplishments and recall the many things he taught the world.

That's precisely what Black Panther actor Winston Duke (who played M'Baku in the Ryan Coogler-directed feature) when remembering Lee, the man who created T'Challa/Black Panther and the Wakandan people.

"THANK YOU, @TheRealStanLee. You gave us characters that continue to stand the test of time and evolve with our consciousness. You taught us that there are no limits to our future as long as we have access to our imagination," Winston shared on Twitter. "Rest in power! #EXCELSIOR #StanLee #rip."

Samuel L. Jackson highlights Lee's best qualities

There's so much to love and admire about Stan Lee — His creativity! His wonderful outlook on life! His kindness! — and Nick Fury actor Samuel L. Jackson perfectly summed them up in his tribute to Lee. On Monday, Nov. 12, Jackson sent out a tweet calling attention to Lee's most wonderful qualities.

"Thank you @TheRealStanLee for the escape from this world & great joy inhabiting the ones you created!!" tweeted Jackson. "You made so many believe in the good, the heroic, the villainous, the exciting, most of all, you were giving & gracious to us all. RIP."

Anthony Mackie speaks on Lee's legacy

When paying tribute to Stan Lee and his memory in the hours following his death, countless people stated that the luminary leaves behind a legacy that will endure the tests of time, changing tides in pop culture, and waves of new generations of comic book fans all with different tastes. Anthony Mackie, who stars as Sam Wilson (better known as Falcon) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, was one of many who spoke about Lee's lasting legacy and his distinctive disposition.

"You were a man before your time... now it feels like you are gone before your time," Mackie wrote on Twitter to accompany a photo of himself and Lee with their arms over each other's shoulders. "RIP Stan the Man... thanks for the laughs and words of support. It's a honor [sic] to live in your universe! #MarvelKnight."

Josh Brolin pens a message from the heart

Onscreen, Thanos actor Josh Brolin is one big bully. But offscreen, he's as sweet and sentimental as they come. The actor who shattered the hearts of every Marvel fan in existence with his performance as the tyrannical, hero-killing Titan in Avengers: Infinity War got vulnerable and emotional when remembering Stan Lee, writing a message that's moving enough to break everyone's hearts all over again (for a much different reason, of course).

"Stan Lee and Dr. Seuss and Ray Bradbury. That's where it begins and ends with me. To those of us who have been so deeply affected by the humanity of his imagination, the understanding of reaching beyond our potential and the necessity of tapping into our immeasurable imaginations, we thank you and are forever indebted," Brolin posted on Instagram. "Rest In Peace Dear Stan. You made our time here a better one. #ripstanlee @robliefeld."

Evangeline Lilly celebrates Lee in a unique way

Known for her Ant-Man and Ant-Man and the Wasp role as Hope van Dyne, the second iteration of the pint-sized superhero the Wasp, Evangeline Lilly aimed to do what she believed Stan Lee would have wanted everyone to do in the wake of his passing: celebrate his life, and not shed too many tears over his death. To achieve this goal, Lilly gathered up several pieces of artwork that fans have created for Lee or in honor of him, sharing them to her Instagram along with a rousing message that asked her followers to help her break the internet and "send a reverberation" to Lee on "the other side."

"I believe with all my heart that #StanLee would want to be celebrated today. Even through your tears, let's flood the internet with all the artwork, good, great or awful, that's ever been created in Stan's name. Let's send a reverberation to the other side," Lilly wrote. "#BreakTheInternetForStan #ArtForStan . Start sharing now... (SWIPE image for more amazing, Stan-inspired art work.)"

Jeremy Renner remembers a carefree moment with Lee

You know the old saying about how a picture is worth a thousand words? And the one about how if you want to remember a moment for as long as possible, you should take a photo, since it'll last longer than your memory? Well, Hawkeye actor Jeremy Renner is apparently a huge proponent of both adages. Renner kept things simple and sweet in his tribute to Stan Lee, allowing a heartwarming photo of the two men sharing smiles during a happy time in the past do most of the talking.

"RIP Stan Lee ! You're a legend my friend #rip #stanlee," Renner captioned the snap, which truly does speak for itself. 

Chris Pratt considers himself lucky to have been part of Lee's world

Steve Englehart and Steve Gan created Peter Quill, more often referred to by his superhero moniker Star-Lord, in 1976. But if Stan Lee hadn't launched Marvel Comics in the early 1960s, Englehart and Gan probably wouldn't ever have brought the hip-shaking Guardian of the Galaxy to life. That fact isn't lost on Chris Pratt, the actor who plays Star-Lord in the MCU. 

Not long after hearing that Lee had passed, Pratt tweeted a picture of himself with comic book legend, captioning it with a thank-you note tucked into a tribute: "Thanks for everything Stan Lee! What a life, so well lived. I consider myself extraordinarily lucky to have gotten to meet you and to have played in the world you created." Pratt punctuated his tweet with a "folded hands" emoji often used to represent prayer as well as a red heart emoji.

Zoe Saldana says Lee was a real-life superhero

Of all the tributes to Stan Lee that Marvel actors made, Zoe Saldana's arguably resonated the most, as she spoke a truth no one can deny. 

Taking to Instagram to post a snap of herself with Lee and Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, as well as a photo of Lee in his younger years and one of an older Lee posing as Spider-Man, the Gamora portrayer affirmed that Lee was "inspiration" and a real-life superhero for radiating goodness and changing so many people's lives for the better.

"Today we lost one of the greats. @therealstanlee, you were an inspiration and superhero to us all. Thank you for contributing so much- and giving us all something to aspire to!" Saldana wrote, adding a green heart emoji and the hashtag "#ripstanlee" to her post.